By Chris Kavan - 08/31/22 at 12:07 PM CT
The box office dead zone has arrived with the total for the weekend sitting at just $41.4 million - the second-lowest weekend of the year, just behind the $30.7 million from Jan 28th-30th and the next month isn't likely to improve much as September looks devoid of any major films. The ratings front has slowed as well with another single-title update.
While it opened atop the box office, horror title The Invitation could only muster a $6.8 million opening. That comes in just under Nobody ($6.82 million) as one of the lowest first-place openings of the pandemic. One must go all the was back to 2003 and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star ($6.66 million) to find a worst box office number one opening. Starring Game of Thrones vet Nathalie Emmanuel as a woman looking to connect to family and finds herself whisked away to fairy-tale wedding that soon turns into a nightmare, the film didn't impress critics (26% on Rotten Tomatoes) or audiences (a weak "C" Cinemascore) and thus isn't likely to enjoy much longevity in the market. The only silver lining is that the film has a pretty low budget at just $10 million so even with its rather poor opening and reception, may still make money in the end.
In second place Bullet Train continues to chug along with a $5.6 million weekend (down just over 30%) and a new $78.2 million total. As we've been comparing, it is still running right along the same line as The Lost City (which has $78.3 million through the same point) and still looks likely to top $100 million. Worldwide it has topped $175 million by this point and looks good to recoup its $90 million budget in the long run, even if it isn't a major hit.
Third place belongs to Idris Elba's Beast, which took a nearly 58% hit after a lackluster opening to bring in $4.87 million for a new $20 million total. Even with $36.2 million worldwide its going to struggle to reach its $36 million budget.
In fourth place the year's biggest hit Top Gun: Maverick had the best hold (once again), dipping 20.2% and bringing in $4.72 million, giving the high-flying blockbuster a new $691.1 million total. It's still looking to top Black Panther ($700.4 million) to take the 5th place spot on the all-time chart.
Rounding out the top five was last week's champion Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which, as expected from such a front-loaded debut, took a big 77.9% hit with a $4.67 million weekend and a new $30.8 million total. It represents the second biggest second-week drop for a film opening in 3000 or more theaters behind just the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot (which dipped 80.4%). Still, it has already topped Dragon Ball Super: Broly ($30.7 million) to become the fifth highest-grossing anime title on record. It has brought in $68.7 million worldwide and has several more territories that it will open with in the coming weeks.
Outside the top five: George Miller's Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Tilda Swinton, who plays a lonely scholar who unleashes a djinn (Idris Elba) and, as she is knowledgeable about the dangers of wishes throughout history, listens to his stories before making a surprising wish. Despite lavish visuals and good critical reception (71% Fresh) the film didn't spark with audiences and opened to just $2.9 million in 7th place. With a reported $60 million budget that is a brutal opening.
Also opening on the low end was Breaking, starring John Boyega as a veteran who resorts to extreme measures to have his voice heard. While it opened in fewer theaters (902 to be exact) it only earned $985,921 (15th place).
Next week has only one true, new wide release in Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. and also sees the wide re-release of an extended version of Spider-Man: No Way Home. While the MCU is popular, I don't know if people are willing to go back for an extra 15 minutes of content.
On the ratings side of things, we find one new film of note, a historical epic that follows a fierce group of African warriors - made up of women.
Viola Davis has explored many roles in her career from The Help to Suicide Squad - and everything between. In The Woman King she takes on the role of Nanisca, leader of the Agojie, an all-female group of warriors who fight for the African Kingdom of Dahomey, led by King Ghezo (John Boyega) taking place in the 1800s. The story follows her journey to recruit and train a new generation of warriors - one that must face a new threat that could destroy their very way of life. The film co-stars Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Shaina West, Thuso Mbedu, Jayme Lawson, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Jordan Bolger. It is one of the few films opening in September that could actually reach an audience and is rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing material, thematic content, brief language and partial nudity.
That is the main film for this week but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE
Rated PG for some thematic elements, suggestive references, brief language and smoking.
Rated PG for thematic material, brief language and smoking images.
Rated R for some sexuality/nudity and drug use.
IN HER HANDS
Rated PG-13 for violent content, brief strong language and brief drug use.
THE LONELIEST BOY IN THE WORLD
Rated R for language and violent content.
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, suggestive references and smoking.
SAM AND KATE
Rated R for some drug use and language.
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual references.
Rated R for violence and language.
Rated R for some language and brief nudity.
THE WOMAN KING
Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing material, thematic content, brief language and partial nudity.